Friday, May 31, 2024

2024 Lewis & Clark 5K: A Tale of Two Rides


I made a big mistake.  I attempted to do both the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation 5K and go bikefishing within a time crunch, riding the paved Gitchee-Gami State Trail from the Split Rock River back to the Split Rock River State Park Trail Center, all at the same time, on the Cogburn with it's wide, dirt and gravel tires. Did I mention, the first 1.5 miles is primarily UPHILL? And, I left my water bottle in the car, which Ellen took? By the time I reached the top of Day Hill, I was almost ready to call an ambulance. Fortunately, the rest of the trail was downhill! Oh well, here's a "before" picture of me with the "Big Lake They Call Gitchee-Gumi" in the background. I made it in time for our Mothers Day dinner date reservation in Duluth! Ellen was happy.

Two days later: I am proceeding on... The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation 5K is in the history books! After Saturday's near-horror show, I decided to start over on more friendly trails, on my bike I bought specifically to ride thel Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, my 2006 Bianchi Volpe touring bike, "Discovery II." I got it done!

This is the third year in a row that I have started my "official" biking season with the L&C5K, only this year I started riding earlier. Just not hard enough for the Saturday attempt.

Saturday, March 23, 2024



I’ve changed the name of this blog, based on the Scripture verse from Daniel displayed in the photograph above. The picture is from a GREAT EXPLOIT of my own, one inspired by the journey of Lewis and Clark.

Tales of exploration have always fascinated me, be it on or under the sea, on land, or in the sky, or beyond. But none have grabbed my attention or inspired me as much as the journey of the Corps of Discovery “to travel from St. Louis to the Western Sea.” I may never travel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea like Captain Nemo, or “Boldly go where no man has gone before,” like the Starship Enterprise, but the trail left behind by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark is more than just doable; it is something that I can touch, feel, and experience for myself. It is something I can DO, and, in fact, have already started doing.

The journey of Lewis and Clark interested me long before the Bicentennial happened in 2003 to 2005. Two events sharpened my interest several years before the nation commemorated the expedition. The first was the establishment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and the corresponding Lewis and Clark Bicycle Trail. I first became a member of Adventure Cycling, a nonprofit group that promotes bicycle travel, while preparing for B.I.K.E.Russia, the mountain biking missions trip that I would co-lead across northwestern Russia in 1997. When Adventure Cycling announced the establishment and mapping of the Lewis and Clark Bicycle Trail, with its completion timed to coincide with the Bicentennial, I knew that it was something I wanted to do right from the start.

Two books, one based in part on the other, also played an incredibly significant part in my decision. I discovered “Ride the River,” by Pastor Larry Christenson at a conference in 2003. Pastor Larry’s book is based on “Undaunted Courage,” by Stephen Ambrose. Both books would play a significant role in my life, but “Ride the River” would change it. Eventually, I would come to own every available copy of the book when it went out of print. I consider it the ultimate devotional for the adventurous Christian. Those two books started a collection that continues to grow even today. I have two shelves in a bookcase in my study devoted to Lewis and Clark, and they are almost full. I have no doubt that they will fill up soon.

To “Ride the River” from “St. Louis to the Western Sea” has become my single greatest “bucket list” item. I’ve already started. I have ridden my bicycle, Discovery II, from St. Louis to Augusta, Missouri, and from Yankton to Pierre, South Dakota. Already I’ve met some fascinating people on the Trail and connected with it. That’s why I’ve also changed the title of the narrative that I’m writing, to “Great Exploits: The Travels of the Two-Wheeled Explorer on the Trail of Lewis and Clark.”

This has been a very peculiar winter in central Minnesota where I live. With the exception of a few inches here and there, it has been a largely snowless winter, whereas last year we had more than double our average snowfall. (I believe that’s how averages are formed.) It has been warm enough that I’ve actually ridden Discovery II in shorts, and yet, when snowshoeing for the first time this year only yesterday. I’m getting ready for the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail Foundation 5K that I have participated in for the past few years. This year, it won’t be my first ride of the year.

Technically, the Lewis and Clark Trail now stretches from Washington DC, through the Cumberland Gap in Maryland, to Pittsburgh, and then down the Ohio River to its confluence with the Mississippi, before proceeding up the Missouri on the way to the Pacific. Wherever my travels take me, I have a River to ride. It’s going to be a Great Exploit and I invite you to come along.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

To Ride the River

Pastor Larry Christenson's book, "Ride the River" changed my entire walk with God. It inspired me to reach out beyond my comfort zone; to "journey with Captain Lewis and Captain Clark from St. Louis to the Western Sea... if nothing prevents." I've only just started despite it being fourteen years on this journey, but it's been fascinating. I've seen amazing things, and met amazing, wonderful people. Now I'm setting out to tell you about them. Look for "To Ride the River" in time for Christmas, 2024, "if nothing prevents."

Monday, June 5, 2023

2023 Lewis and Clark Trail 5K

On May 21st in 1804 Meriwether Lewis joined William Clark and the Corps of Discovery in St. Charles, Missouri, and the expedition began in earnest. To commemorate the event, I started the day with excellent Lewis and Clark Northwest Passage Coffee from @frontiercoffeecompany in my Lewis and Clark coffee mug. After church, I did the L&C5K on my Bianchi Volpe touring bike, which has carried me on so many adventures including three of my four Ride Across the Rez fundraisers. The two water bottles have also made those trips, including the "famous" green LCMC water bottle. (Seen below in the company of St. Kateri Tekakwitha and me, Marty, SD, 2012) In the now famous words of Sgt. John Ordway of the original Corps, "I am well, thank God, and in high spirits." Proceeding on...

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

2023 L&C 5K Update


Originally scheduled for Mother's Day weekend, I am going to hold off until the following Sunday to do my L&C5K. This weekend is Mother's Day and MN Fishing Opener, and it's supposed to rain. Next weekend looks better and it marks the 219th anniversary of the date the Corps of Discovery left St. Charles. We'll be in St. Charles in October for the Annual Gathering of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and will then be following the Lewis and Clark Trail by bike and car, to Sioux Falls, SD, after the event.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

L&C 5K Update

It has rained every weekend since the snow finally stopped, and substantially during weekdays as well, so I have returned the totally reconditioned Discovery II back to the trackstand in the basement to train for the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation L&C 5K. Watching “Lewis and Clark Great Journey West “ to get in the spirit. But this week is supposed to be dry, including Saturday, I may have to work late tomorrow, but Thursday the rubber may meet the road! (Photo from the end of the ride.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

We're Riding the Lewis and Clark 5K River!

It's almost time for the 2nd annual LCTHF Virtual 5k! Join us May 6-8 for Zoom stretches and afternoon programs while you complete the 5k on your own in any manner you choose, whether that be walking, BICYCLING, running, kayaking, or whatever else you enjoy. We just want you to get outside and enjoy the outdoors- and maybe share a little about the Lewis and Clark Trail along the way. To register, check out the link: Lewis & Clark Trail 5 K